Karesansui gardens were known as Zen temple gardens when they were first created in the 14th century.The gardens eliminate anything ornate and portray natural scenery using only sand, stones, and moss. These gardens don’t even use water. Hamon, a characteristic feature of a Karesansui garden, is a technique using white sand to depict the flow of water. Rocks and moss are deliberately, sometimes randomly, arranged over the sand to create a peculiar beauty.
With this unique board game, each player becomes a Zen monk and competes against others to create the most beautiful and elegant Karesansui garden. Ultimately, a player will create his or her own garden by arranging 15 panels of hamon with a few rocks. A player with the highest score becomes the winner.
The rules call for players to actually practice Zen meditation during the game and earn bonus points called toku. In Zen Buddhism, toku means“actions to become a person of virtue,” but in this game, once you accumulate a certain amount of toku points, you can snatch hamon panels from other players.
The Karesansui game is suitable for ages 10 and up. Two to four players can play together. The players can glimpse the world of Zen in a mere 60-minute game.
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